Cat Breeding and Pregnancy
Cat Breeding, pregnancy, delivery, and nursing require a healthy mother cat. The first step is to have it examined by a veterinarian. Besides updating vaccinations and checking for internal parasites, your doctor will also be on the lookout for any genetic traits or diseases that might be a problem in the kittens. Your veterinarian might suggest that both cats should be tested for feline leukemia, FTLV and feline infectious peritonitis. If you have picked your cat’s mate, it’s wise to collaborate with the other owner so that all pertinent information is available for the physical examination. If the mate hasn’t been chosen, ask your veterinarian to recommend a good breeder.
A cat’s pregnancy lasts about 60 to 70 days. After the kittens are born there is a period of lactation that lasts six weeks or so, and less than a month later the female is ready to breed again. A female that is not allowed to mate will drive you crazy until she does – you will have no doubt at all that she is in season. Her mate will recognize the female’s mating posture and will copulate with her, repeating the operation many times during this period if the cats are not separated by circumstances. You may notice your cat’s nipples becoming pink at about the third week of pregnancy: later on, you may observe a weight gain, but you are just as likely to miss it, especially with long-haired varieties. You should now make a suitable place for the cat to have her kittens. A cardboard box is fine for this and it should be thickly lined with newspaper and put in a dark warm spot which is a favorite of the cat so that she can get used to it well before the birth.
You are unlikely to have any problems with the actual birth, though sometimes the whole business does seem to go on a bit as a baby after the baby comes tumbling out. Each one is licked clean and before long they are all fighting their way to a nipple, squeaking loudly. If you have any worries, contact your vet; but even if all went well, talk to him about injections for the kittens, which are essential.
Ideally, the two cats should meet at least once before they mate, preferably at the breeding site. Since male cats can be finicky about breeding away from familiar surroundings, breeding should be done in the tom’s home.
The cat has to be the most passionate creature alive next to its friend, the flea, that is. The flea is the champ for longest lovemaking (up to nine hours), but the cat gets the award for most vocal!
Cats have no problem finding a member of the appropriate sex for mating, but many cat owners can’t tell the players without a scorecard. To tell the sex of your pet, first lift up the tail. Below the anus is either a dot or a slit. The dot indicates a male cat, and the slit a female. Male cats reach sexual maturity in eight months to one year; females, from the age of five months to eight months. A mature male (tom) will establish its territory even on another cat’s territory by spraying: that is, backing up to a vertical object. Lifting its tail, and squirting urine against it. It could be a neighbor’s bush or your antique grandfather clock; the cat isn’t particular. Howling, crying, and pacing for a sweetheart is also part of a male’s repertoire.
If the female is not bred, it will be in heat every two or three weeks. Queens are different from other female animals in that their eggs will not be released from the ovary (ovulation) until after intercourse.
The female selects a mate with a majestic display of vocalizing, rolling, foot treading, and crouching. (Fights may break out if more than one tom wants to mate with a single queen in heat.) The chosen partner grabs the queen by the back of the neck with its teeth. The female crouches and raises its rear end, the tail to one side. The tom thrusts its penis into the queen’s vagina, ejaculates, and quickly dismounts, while the female lets out a shrill cry. The tom dismounts quickly, because, to show appreciation, the female hisses and tries to scratch the mate with its front claws. The two of them may repeat the whole process a few more times.
See more: Cat Birth